HESPERIA – A community came together to support a family that just lost a mother and two children following a Thursday, March 2, 2017, traffic collision that ended with the vehicle in the aqueduct. The Hesperia mother and three of her kids were in the red Volkswagen Beetle, when for reasons still under investigation the vehicle left the road and became submerged in the aqueduct. Christina Eileen Estrada, 31, was in the vehicle with Elijah Estrada, 10, Jeremiah Robert Abbott, 3, and Noah Abbott, 2. Elijah was located grasping onto floatation buoys and was injured, but able to communicate with emergency responders to tell them who else was in the vehicle.
Jeremiah was located unconscious and was rushed to Desert Valley Hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 10:32 p.m. The vehicle was located by the dive team and was pulled to the surface. Christina was located inside of the vehicle and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s dive team searched for Noah late into Thursday night, Friday, and again into Saturday afternoon. The search of the aqueduct done by the dive team covered approximately 2.5 miles of the 7-mile long aqueduct, but due to no visibility and major safety concerns there was no other option other than concluding the search.
The announcement was met with various emotions from the community including sadness, to anger, confusion, and with some understanding. “My family and myself would love to give our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the divers that searched for a baby Noah,” said Steven Abbott in a public statement. “Some of the things that I’ve seen on here about the search [and] about the divers is completely unfair and unwarranted. Those divers went above and beyond to help bring closure to our family.”
Elijah was released from the hospital with head and facial injuries and is expected to fully recover from his physical injuries.
The family has set up two Go Fund Me Accounts, one set up by Christina’s cousin and the other set up by the uncle of the children. Both funds had a goal of $25,000 and so far the total for both, which will go toward funeral expenses has reached $43.034 with the help of those who have contributed, many from the Victor Valley.
On Monday, March 6, 2017, approximately 70 people from the community joined together to search for Noah. Despite warnings of dangers associated with the search and warnings about the emotional impact finding the young boy may pose, the search went on. The searchers went in small groups, some family, to seek clues who may lead them to Noah.
The search organizers were prepared with bottled water for all those searching. All who searched signed in, the group was given safety instructions, and then the group joined in prayer. Most who came out, came because they could not stand to know that little Noah is out there somewhere. “I wanted to come out last night,” said search volunteer Tila Sanchez. “Even though I am going through some things right now, I wanted to come out here and search to help find Noah.”
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